The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission has approved the $200 million Gunnedah Solar Farm in the state’s north-east which will have a nameplate capacity of 165Mp and will generate approximately 293GWh of electricity each year.
After the Gunnedah Solar Farm lodged its application in 2018, the state’s Independent Planning Commission appointed a three-member Panel and held public meetings in Gunnedah in November 2018 to listen to public concerns which focused on potential flood risks, land-use compatibility, heavy vehicle movements, and negative impacts on visual amenity and local property prices.
On Tuesday, the Commission approved the project under specific conditions.
The 200 hectare site is expected to be built on Orange Grove Road near Gunnedah with construction expected for the fourth quarter of 2019.
In response to community concerns the Commission determined that the Gunnedah’s modelled flood impacts would comply with assessment criteria and that the setback of the solar panels from the project boundary would be hidden from view behind proposed vegetation for the site.
Local roads will also be upgraded, and the heavy vehicle route will safely accommodate traffic movements associated with the project’s development.
“The Commission finds that the Project will assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and achieves a reasonable balance between maximising the use of the solar resources and managing potential impacts on the environment and on surrounding landowners,” the Commission wrote in its Statement of Reasons for Decision.
The 200 hectare site is expected to be built on Orange Grove Road near Gunnedah with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019. It is one of a number of projects being developed by Photon, including the Gunning, Suntop, Brewongle and Mumbil solar farms.